A Mathematical Conversation

G H Hardy

I remember once going to see him when he was ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one and that I hoped it was not an unfavorable omen.

Srinivasa Ramanujan (a self taught mathematician)

‘No’, he replied, ‘it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways.’

The Two Ways are:

1729 = 13 + 123 = 93 + 103.
(Wikipedia entry for Ramanujan)
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